For God has given us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.2 Timothy 1:7
What if we believe this?
It is so easy to get wrapped up in what the world tells us to think and believe. This scripture points to one of our deepest desires; to not be afraid. This verse is about being a bold believer of the Truth. God calls us to action often. We may feel called to say “no” when asked to do something (or go somewhere).
Our fear comes from two places when it comes to living out a Christian life. 1. Fear of what others think of us. 2. Fear of what it may actually happen to us. The number of times in my life that I have heard, “I am afraid to commit fully to God because what if He calls me to Africa?” would shock you! Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers says this about 2 Timothy 1:7 “It is a grave reminder to Christians of every age and degree that all cowardice, all dread of danger, all shrinking from doing one’s duty for fear of man’s displeasure, proceeds not from the Spirit of God.” No matter where the root of the fear (even if its our own displeasure) the fear is not from the Spirit of God.
We can be called to lots of things:
- to bless someone
- to speak out on someone’s behalf
- to tell someone about what the Lord has done in our life
- to stand for what we believe in
- to act in the name of Jesus to defend
- to speak life
- to pray for someone in the present moment…OUT LOUD…WITH THEM! (yes, I went there)
- to move
- to change majors
- to leave a place we know we shouldn’t be
- to close the door on a relationship that is toxic
- to quit something
- to join something
- to stop watching or listening to something
In all of these circumstances we have options. We choose to be brave and allow the Spirit of the Holy God to act in and through us or to let fear win. If this verse is written on our hearts, we can pause and breathe this verse in and out of our lungs to remember how our God has created us. God does not want us to cower. When fear wins, the enemy wins, and the Kingdom of God suffers for it. Why does the Kingdom of God suffer? This verse goes on to remind us that God has saved us and called us to something holy, not because of us, but because of His own purpose and grace. We have been called and entrusted with the call…Paul says to “guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” 2 Tim 1:14 . When we shrink back in fear, God’s purpose for us is stunted and the world gets less of what the Lord has for it.
Fear is not from God but from the enemy to try to hold us back from doing what God has called us to do. God gives us a spirit of love. A spirit of power to stand firm. A spirit of self discipline/control to be able to face temptation and weakness.
Is there any area of your life you feel like you are powerless or where you lack self discipline or self control?
Was there anything on the list above that you feel like you need take action on?
Spend a few moments asking God to open you up to receive discernment and direction. Now ask God to give you opportunities to exercise power and self discipline (go ahead, don’t be afraid…you will be blessed for it).